The all-new Kia EV9 is “futuristic design” done right

Carmakers have experimented with all sorts of “futuristic” or “next-generation” design ever since electric vehicles became mainstream. We say “experiment”, because some (read: Tesla Cybertruck) have clearly taken that ethos to the extreme. But as nature often plays out, for every Cybertruck out there, there’s bound to be a Kia EV9 that does things just right.

Sticking closely to the design of its original concept, Kia’s fully-electric three-row SUV represents a huge departure from the sleek silhouette of the EV6 thanks to its large, polygonal body panels and sharp lines throughout. The most interesting angle is on its side, we think, especially with the massively flared and squared off fenders, alongside the blocky character lines, and a sharp beltline that tapers into a unique triangular kick on the D-pillars.

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The front and rear fascias are comparatively a lot more muted, although it all contributes to the three-row SUV’s tough stance on the road, which we think the EV9 wears incredibly well. Despite being significantly modernised, Kia’s signature design touches are all still here too, including the new ‘Digital Tiger Face’ which combines the sleek vertical headlights up front with a ‘Digital Pattern Lighting Grille’ – the latter with individual cube-like lighting elements hidden within the bodywork itself.

Overall, Kia says that the EV9 “effortlessly combines an undoubted aura of rugged capability for all conditions with the serene calmness of a sophisticated EV”, and we think that description is pretty much spot-on.

Moving inside, the Kia EV9’s interior design draws inspiration from its previous electric models, with an emphasis on clean and uncluttered layouts, mixed with unique “environmental-friendly” materials. Two 12.3-inch displays sit atop the dashboard in a scalloped section, with a smaller five-inch segment display sandwiched between them to control basically all the vehicle’s functions.

Kia says that the physical buttons are kept to a minimum on the EV9, though from first glance, it seems there are still a number of them littered around the dashboard for easy access to the most important functions – old dinosaurs like myself would appreciate.

Thanks to the use of the marque’s Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), the EV9’s long wheelbase, low beltline, and the completely flat floor all contribute to its generous space on the interior – especially when compared to an ICE-powered vehicle of similar stature.

It’s available as either a six- or seven-seater SUV, and Kia says the occupants of both the first- and second-rows can simultaneously recline their seats to relax and rest while the car is charging. The second row seats can also be swivelled 180 degrees for a meeting-room like seating arrangement, although based on pictures, it does seem a little too cramped in terms of foot space for a comfortable boardroom meeting.

Powertrain and detailed specifications will be revealed later this month, but as it’s built on the same E-GMP platform as the EV6, we can already get a rough idea of what’s in store for the three-row SUV. Just by looking at its design, though, we think Kia has already hit a home run with the EV9.



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